In this article, we will highlight the story of Prophet Muhammad’s wife Hind bint Abi Umaya Al-Makhzumiya, known as Umm Salama and her story. Let’s have a look at one of the real love stories that Islamic history provides us with.
Here we will learn the following:
Why Umm Salamah Is Called the Mother of the believers?
Commanded by Allah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) married ten wives after the death of his beloved wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (RA). The prophet’s wives are called Mothers of the Believers. They were given this title by Allah.
“The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves, and his wives are their (believers’) mothers” (as regards respect and marriage)(Al Ahzab 33:6)
Each of these women are highly respected by all Muslims. Their behavior in various situations taught us piety, modesty and devotion to Islam. They truly embodied noble Islamic values not only related to marriage but also to all life aspects.
Umm Salamah Family
Umm Salama came from a noble and respectable family. Her father, Abu Umaya was an eminent member of his tribe known for his generosity, he was called “
Zad al-Rakib” i.e., the one who provides for travelers.
Umm Salama First Husband
Umm Salama’s first husband was called Abdullah ibn Abdul-Asad and they both were among the first people to accept Islam. They had the honour to migrate twice, once from Makka to Abyssinia, and the other from Makka to Al Madina. It was hard at that time to leave one’s family, tribe and land, but Umm Salama and her husband decided to do this pursuing the pleasure and reward of Allah.
“Those who migrated or were expelled from their homes and were persecuted for My sake and fought and ˹some˺ were martyred I will certainly forgive their sins and admit them into Gardens under which rivers flow, as a reward from Allah. And with Allah is the finest reward”(Al-Iman 2:195)
Umm Salamah Migration to Abyssinia:
Umm Salama and her husband faced intensified persecution from Quraysh, but they were tolerant and remained steadfast in their new faith. However, as the persecution became fiercer for all new Muslims, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave them permission to migrate to Abyssinia.
After a while Um Salama and her husband returned to Mecca as they heard the persecution against Muslims decreased. However, this longed only for a short period and then Quraysh increased their torture against new Muslims.
Umm Salamah Migration to Madinah:
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave permission to his companions to migrate to Al Madinah. Umm Salama and her husband were among the first to leave.
However, some men from Umm Salama’s clan “Banu Makhzum” stopped them just before they were about to leave Makkah. They snatched her away from her husband and forced her to stay with them.
Um Salama’s husband’s clan, Banu Abdul-Asad took away her son claiming they had the right to bring him up. Umm Salama was dramatically left alone and lonely as her husband headed for Al Madina. She wept every night over the loss of her husband and son for a about one year. Her family then agreed to let her join her husband, and her husband’s clan consented to free her son.
Umm Salamah was such a brave woman that she decided to head for Al Madina with no single family member accompanying her except her little child. When she reached Tan’im she met ‘Uthman bin Talhah ‘Abdari, who helped her reaching her destination. Finally, all family members reunited in joy in Al Madina.
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Umm Salamah’s Husband Death:
Two years later, Abu Salama were among the few Muslims who fought courageously in Badr Battle, which ended in a stunning victory for Muslims and painful defeat for Quraysh.
However, this was not the case in the battle of Uhud which took place in the third year after Hijrah. Some Muslims disobeyed Prophet Muhammad order not to leave their places even if Muslims won the battle, leading to a bitter defeat. Abu Salama was seriously wounded.
Umm Salama Marriage to Prophet Muhammad
Once, while Umm Salama was nursing her husband, he told her, “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying whenever a calamity afflicts anyone he should say, “We belong to Allah and to Him shall we return; O Allah, with You I leave my plight for consideration, reward me for my affliction and give me something better than it in exchange for it.’” Abu Salama remained sick in bed for several days and then he passed away.
Umm Salama remembered the prayer her husband had quoted from the Prophet and began repeating it, “O Lord, with you I leave this my plight for consideration….” But she could not bring herself to say“O Lord, give me something better than it in exchange for it.”
She kept asking herself, “Who could be better than Abu Salama?” She did not know a person better than her beloved husband. It never came to her mind that the Prophet himself (PBUH) would propose to her after the death of her husband. He (PBUH) acknowledged Umm Salama’s tolerance and patience since she became Muslim. She happily married him, and that was Allah’s answer to the prayer of Umm Salama.
For more about marriage in Islam, read:
- Marriage in Islam – Full Guide to Rights and Duties
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Um Salama Characteristics
1. Wide Knowledge in religious matters
Um Salama had a wide Knowledge in religious matters. She narrated 378 hadiths. In this respect, she stands second among the wives of the Prophet and twelfth among all the companions in total (including both men and women).
- Hadith Collection – Was Hadith And Sunnah Compiled And Preserved From Corruption?
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2. Good Interpreter of the Quran:
She was knowledgeable about the interpretation of Quran; she was consulted by Abdullah bin Abbas, one of the earliest scholars of Quran, about Islamic laws.
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3. Um Salama Eloquent Speaker
She was also an eloquent speaker. She described her painful migration to Al Madina using heart touching words. She wrote:
“Suddenly, in the space of a few minutes, I found myself all alone. My husband headed out towards Medina by himself; his tribe had snatched away my son from me; and my own tribe had overpowered me and forced me to stay with them.
From the day that my husband and my son were parted from me, I went out at noon every day and sat at the spot where this tragedy had occurred. I would remember those terrifying moments and weep until nightfall.”
4. Loyalty and devotion to Islam
In fact, her migration story to Al Madina not only reveals her bravery and persistence but also highlights her extreme loyalty and devotion to the new religion.
Learn more about Islam:
- What is Shahadah in Islam? – A Full Guide
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5. Good Warrior
She was also a warrior and took part in many battles. She fought next to the Prophet (PBUH) during the Battles Bani Mustalaq, Ta’if, Khaybar, Hunayn, and the conquest of Makkah.
6. Wise Woman:
Umm Salama’s wisdom was manifested in the incidents following the treaty of Hudaybiyah. Many Companions of Prophet (PBUH) were extremely frustrated because they thought the treaty implied that Quraysh were superior. They refused to obey Prophet Muhammad’s orders to slaughter a Hady (sacrificial animal) and shave their heads (as a sign to end their Umrah).
Seeing how distressed the prophet was, Umm Salama offered him very wise advice. She said he should go and have his head shaved in public without uttering a single word to his companions. She believed that if the companions would see him taking this action, they would follow him as they always had; and that exactly what happened.
7. A lady of noble traits
It is narrated by Umar bin Abi Salama that when the verses of purification “Surely Allah desires to remove from you [all] uncleanness, O Members of the Household, and purify you completely” (AL Ahzab 33:33) were revealed at the house of Umm Salama, prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gathered Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Hussain (RA) under a cloak and prayed to God to purify them. Umm Salama enquired if she was part of his household as well. To this the Holy Prophet (PBUH) replied:
“You [as a wife] already have your own status and you are a lady of noble traits.”(Tirmidhi, Book 49, Hadith 4156)
Hazrat Umm Salama Death
Umm Salama was the last Mother of Believers to die, she passed away 61 A.H at the age of 84. Her character was notable. She taught us courage, piety, resilience, wisdom and eagerness for knowledge. She is certainly one of the most significant women in Islamic history.